On Monday night during the fifth episode of “The Bachelorette” on ABC, the network gave a preview of how its new smartphone app for its upcoming and groundbreaking reality competition “Rising Star,” works. ABC’s latest reality competition puts the power to advance a performer in the hands of the viewers as the show’s virtual judges. The “Rising Star” app allows viewers to vote in real time as a performer is auditioning live. The panel of celebrity judges also have a say as their votes counts as 7% each. Singer/songwriter Josh Groban will host of “Rising Star”. The three judges were introduced by Groban, however Monday night one of judges was fashionably late to the live demo. It was explained that Ludacris was on a helicopter and unable to land because of heavy cloud cover. Joining Ludacris on the judge’s panel are; Grammy Award winning country music artist Brad Paisley and pop singer Kesha.
Here’s how it will work; similar to “The Voice,” during an audition a performer will sing behind a giant video wall that separates them from the panel of judges. Viewers watching the show will sign into the “Rising Star” app and once a performer starts they will have an opportunity to vote to allow the performer to advance or reject them, live. As the votes are submitted, the video wall fills up with the faces of viewers who have cast their votes. If the votes of checked-in viewers reach the established threshold, the wall rises indicating the performer is advancing.
During Monday night’s demonstration; “Bachelorette” fans were asked if they wanted to see a preview of the upcoming ABC special “Bachelor Paradise”. In order to meet the threshold, at least 70% of viewers using the “Rising Star” app needed to vote yes. The network tried out the interactive app twice, for the left and right coasts. In the unscientific results, it appears that “Bachelor Paradise” is more popular with viewers on the east coast. While both live segments raised the wall, 81% of viewers in the east voted to watch the preview versus the 71% on the west coast.